Five-Star Advice

There are hidden messages everywhere. Either that or there’s a lot of meaningless gibberish. Sometimes it’s hard to tell. Case in point: a kind of mysterious piece of lawyer marketing advice on FindLaw’s lawyer marketing website that appeared last week under the headline: “The Best Review a Lawyer Could Ask For.”

Directly beneath this headline, this picture appears:

There’s no caption. There’s no explanation. It’s a starry sky and what appears to be an observatory below it. The message is well-hidden.

If I were to guess, I’d say this means: “Get out of law and go into astronomy.”

The article below it appears to be about online reviews of law practices – “there’s gold in them there reviews.”

So what’s the advice? On the surface, it appears to be how to tell whether a client’s review is actually good and/or helpful in getting more clients.

This didn’t strike me as a particularly useful skill. After all, you don’t have any control over your reviews. So what’s the point in worrying about how they’re worded?

Why would somebody write a pointless article like this?

But then it hit me – there’s a hidden message! There is a way to make sure reviews have maximum positive impact: Write them yourself.

Or get your friends and family to do them. Either way works.

This is brilliant.

My only criticism of the FindLaw article is that the examples of good reviews are a tad pedestrian. I agree that you do want them to sound like they’ve been posted by real people, but the best posts from real people – the ones that go viral – aren’t boring.

Fortunately, I have some better examples:

“Saw all the rave reviews this guy was getting and thought I’d give him a try. So glad I did. Not only is he a stud muffin, but he’s got this baritone voice the judges love. I proposed marriage after the second time in his office but he claimed it would be a conflict of interest or something. Darn! Four stars! (I’m subtracting one for turning me down.)”

“Sam Lawyer! It gives me chills just saying his name. Four and a half stars.”

“Sam Lawyer got me everything I wanted and then some. But I’m not supposed to talk about that. Five stars.”

“I’m naming my next child after Sam. I’m not saying why. A zillion stars.”

“Sam Lawyer missed filing deadlines, forgot to depose key witnesses, and charged me for unpaid intern hours. But that smile … Three stars.”

“Don’t worry about the disbarment. Sam tells me nobody checks and so far he’s been right. Four stars.”

“I lost my case, but I know Sam Lawyer did his best because my dog likes him. He smells beefy. Three woofs.”

“Sam Lawyer will make you feel better right away. There’s a full bar in the reception area and the brownies seem to cheer everyone up. Five stars!”

Enough reviews like these and you’ll have all the clients you want.


Polite judiciary: My favorite typo of the week is in a picture caption on the Akron Beacon Journal website: “2003 file photo of U.S. District Court Judge John Adams shown on the bench in his finals days as a Summit County Common Please Court Judge.”

At least I think it’s a typo. The idea of a court where you have to be polite and say “please” is pretty appealing. It could also be called the Court of Common Courtesy.

Convicted defendants could be sent to bed without dinner or television.

The photo and caption, by the way, accompanied a story about a federal judge being ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. This came in a 40-page ruling by the Committee on Judicial Conduct and Disability of the Judicial Conference that also said the judge could keep on hearing cases.

He might be crazy, but that’s no reason to stop him from dispensing justice.

Fair enough, I guess, but I think the psychiatric evaluations should come before someone gets to be a judge.

That ought to apply to presidents too.

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